The 4 Definitions of Success That Can Lead to A Happier Life

Lately, I have been seeking to understand what the concept of success truly entails.

Success may refer to a state in which one manages to excel in a particular area. The outcome, however, is often what tends to interest us—we focus on the material benefits of success. We look at the salary. We envy the car.

Well, is success really so?

[image credits:]

[image credits:]

As someone who is still growing and becoming increasingly self-aware, I will not be able to provide you with a ‘correct’ answer of what success is or should be. As always, there is no one fixed definition for anything in this world.

Still, speaking from my experiences that have shaped my thoughts and beliefs thus far, allow me to share with you what I think success is.

1.) Success Is About Growing Everyday

How do we succeed? By simply getting better, and growing. It is about finding ways to consistently challenge your limits and taking a courageous step beyond your comfort zone.

Well, I am nothing but an advocate of growth; and I believe that every single day presents a unique opportunity to learn and get wiser.

One does not attain success overnight, but rather, does it via hard work being appended in a consistent fashion.

It’s not rocket science. It’s getting into the good old grind everyday. Know that the process is not easy, but you’ll be one step closer to success. Read. Pick up that new skill. Ask questions.

Keep exploring different solutions to the problem.


2) Success Is About Self-Awareness

Did I say “self-aware” in the first few paragraphs? Gary Vaynerchuk’s constant reiteration of the importance of self-awareness has perpetually resonated with me.

To be successful, you need to know who you are, what you want to do, and what you want to be. You need to have a purpose.

It is time to ask yourself some pertinent questions: who am I? What do I want to get out of whatever I am currently doing? What do I want my legacy to be like?

If you were to ask me, I will tell you that I am a driven individual who will be willing to experiment with the unknown to keep growing. At the same time, I value empathy and want to make a difference to as many lives as possible.

I know this much about myself, and I am discovering more everyday.

How about you?

3) Success Is Up To You To Create And Define

Money seems to be the common denominator of success today. I suppose wealth is largely a by-product of what we conventionally define success to be. A business grows. An investment pays off.

The business owner is successful because he or she has managed to attain his or her goal—and if it has to do with earning a lot of money, that is fine by me.

But it becomes a problem when the issue of “having a lot of money” clouds the entire idea of success. It is not the sole indicator of success, nor is it the only thing one should be striving for.

In Singapore, we do talk about not having enough money and yet having to pay more.

Our realities may be so consumed by these issues; to the point that we believe those people who “made it” are those who have managed to effortlessly pay off their problems.

Again, if your goal is to be rich, fulfilling it means you have succeeded in your own right. But even if you are leading a less affluent, but content life with your loved ones, I still see that as a form of success.

There is so much more to success than money. Ultimately, you have the power to define it.

4) Success Is Attaining A Peace Of Mind

[image credits:]

[image credits:]

So, it is about self-contentment—and being equipped with the knowledge that no one has the right to take that away from you.

Success is smiling right at you when you managed to code your first website regardless of how amateurish it may look (in fact, “amateurish” is highly subjective anyway).

You are enjoying success when you manage to solve a math question that has been bogging you down for ages.

I believe that tying your actions to the validation of others is not wrong, because if that is what drives you onward, then you are entitled to your own mindset.

The question is therefore, how sustainable this method may be; and, if you will still remain driven should these people whom you are frequently pitting yourself against or trying to win the approval of, cease to exist.

I am inclined to think that true success is simple, and it’s simply about setting out to complete what you have wanted to do. And regardless of the result, no regrets remain because you have done your best.

The journey is more important than the destination.

Ultimately, most of what I have said thus far relates to one word…


Happiness and success have this intriguing, symbiotic relationship. I believe that one’s level of success corresponds to one’s level of happiness—rather than the other way round.

Instead, a virtuous cycle ensues as you start to derive happiness from the act of pushing for self-betterment and personal development.

Happiness and success thus co-exist in harmony, each feeding off the other, and growing in strength.

I hope you’ll find success. As I’ve mentioned, I’m still seeking it out as I grow. But more importantly, even in a place like Singapore where it might seem to be all about the money, I believe we can transcend this concept of success.

Be happy. Laugh. Live. Appreciate the people around you. After a while, you might just realize that success is knocking right on your door.

Remember to open it.

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